Pediatric doctors dealing with shortage of critical childhood cancer drug

There is some hope for children with cancers after news broke about a drug treatment being rationed at hospitals all over the country because of a shortage.

The Federal Drug Administration said Thursday deliveries of the vital cancer drug vincristine should resume later this month.

Vincristine is given to every child with leukemia and most with solid tumors.

Right now, Pfizer is the only manufacturer of the drug in the United States. A second company made the business decision to cease production over the summer.

Pfizer has been trying to make up for the lost supply and has seen some manufacturing issues.

Now doctors are being forced to decide which patients get the drug and who can wait a little longer.

“It’s not an easy conversation to have. It is, it’s heart-wrenching to be honest. I feel horrible when I walk into a family’s room and say I know your child is due for this medication today and we just don’t have it. Or we have had to prioritize form some children who have a greater need than yours,” said Dr. Janice Olson at Randall Children’s Hospital.

Though deliveries will resume next month, the cancer drug is still predicted to be in short supply until at least December.